Ice Fishing Tips
- Before venturing out on the ice, check with ice hut vendors for ice conditions. Avoid and be cautious of points as pressure ridges usually form off them and the ice is thin. Large lakes can produce ridges as high as 6 feet or higher with open water.
- When driving heavy vehicles on ice, drive slowly as the faster you travel, the greater a wave builds up in front of the vehicle under the ice. Too fast and it’s possible to break through the ice. Large lakes can offer currents, which can eat away at the ice.
- The best bait to use in catching bass does not change much in the winter. Plastic worms still work well, as do crayfish and grubs, various minnow varieties and maggots. Jigs also work well, with hooks spaced every 6 inches to 2 feet from the bottom.
- Ice huts are recommended for outings longer than a day. They offer protection from the elements and prevent issues such as line icing and bait freezing as the inside of the hut is often around the freezing point.
- Never travel onto the ice without a compass, cellular phone or someone close by. When traveling in groups, keep several meters apart. Frozen lakes can produce extreme white-out conditions. We cannot stress more the importance of a compass.
- Ice fishing checklist: long underwear, socks, polarised sunglasses, auger, ice gear, life vest, cell phone, boots capable of -40, minnow bucket, toque, breathable, warm clothing, lures, baits and an itinerary of your trip registered with someone you know.
- Line tests of between 4 and 6 pound test is recommended, but nothing heavier. Fishing multiple holes requires the use of a fulcrum that causes the line to tip when a fish bites. Attach a bell to the rig to notify you when a fish strikes.
If you have a tip you’d like to share, please send it to us.